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Meet Gilda Davidian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gilda Davidian.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I started photographing in high school, and I fell in love with it – the way the camera made me see the world more closely, the smell of the darkroom… I began by photographing my family and my friends, and I loved how I could tell stories with the pictures I made. I went on to study photography at CalArts and later got my masters from Bard College in New York. My relationship with photography has grown and changed through the years, but I always feel at home with a camera in my hands.

Please tell us about your art.
I make photographs, and sometimes I write. My practice asks questions about the relationship between photography and memory, and how we come to understand places and histories through images. Like how do we understand who we are and where we come from based on the pictures we’ve seen? I love the process of working on a project and seeing how my thinking expands as I follow an idea through its different iterations.

Since I’ve had kids, I’ve been more involved in organizing and community building. I started a feminist parenting group through the Women’s Center for Creative Work called Hey Baby. It’s been an incredibly enriching and inspiring experience to see how a community can grow and create networks of support.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
For me, success means being in the right place for and with myself, having the space to hear my true voice, to connect openly with people, and to have the freedom to build something and to start over again. I think often artists get stuck in prescribed ideas of success, and most of the time, those spaces have very little room for women, and especially for mothers. Becoming a parent has freed me in a lot of ways to redefine who and what I am within my own context instead of someone else’s.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work can be seen online at my website (www.gildadavidian.com) or on Instagram (gilda_davidian). I was recently selected to photograph for a project called the Armenian Diaspora Survey, an international program on Armenian identity. It was wonderful to go back within the communities I grew up in, investigating how we see and share cultural identity through the spaces we occupy. I am currently working on a project with the photos from that series.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Gilda Davidian

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